Economy Gastronomy

Cookery programmes fall into one of three categories for me. There’s the useful ones (Chinese Food Made Easy), those that give you lifestyle envy (Anything with Rick Stein in) and the completely irritating. Sadly, most cookery shows land in the latter, with gooey headed chefs stumbling into something that looks like the real world and coming up with ways to make us better humans.

However, because they’ve been out of the loop for so long and by virtue of what their jobs are, chefs foam at the mouth when talking about fresh fish and reducing sauces. It’s their job. You begin to question whether they’d be filled with the same fawning enthusiasm after working a 12 hour shift in a factory or getting their balls busted by a squibbish team leader demanding 3 hours overtime off you.

So, to Economy Gastronomy (BBC Two) which falls squarely in the latter. They coo things like ‘Plan your meals one week ahead!’ ‘Get back the loving feeling in the kitchen!’ ‘Only buy what you need by making a spreadsheet on a computer!’

Yeah. These are all the things that make a person feel glad to be alive aren’t they? Hapless, deluded chef chumps.

So who is proffering all these woolly points? Well, we’re stuck with Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett who between them look like a rubbish Michel Roux Jr and Lou Ferrigno in a wig. They propose all these ways of improving the diet and lifestyle of ‘a normal family’, who it turns out, aren’t that normal at all.

The family chosen for the show, perfectly nice I’ll add, aren’t your archetypical British family. They own their own businesses and have a giant, super-hip pad and fitted kitchens and the like… when really, McEvedy and Merrett should’ve had the sheer bloody nerve to go to a terrace on The Wirral and then try and work their magic for it’s those people who struggle for time and don’t have a local fish market or organic butcher down the road.

I know this sounds like class bashing or something, but really, do we need yet another show that simpers and whines about the plight of people who aren’t really up to their necks in “doo-doo” like the show suggests?

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